New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a plan last week to protect and expand abortion access for New Yorkers in response to Texas SB 8 and other anti-abortion laws across the country.
“Abortion access is safe in New York—the rights of those who are seeking abortion services will always be protected here,” Hochul said at a Monday press conference. “To the women of Texas, I want to say I am with you. Lady Liberty is here to welcome you with open arms.”
The agenda includes launching a public information campaign to address patient rights, ensuring easy access to telemedicine abortion, and urging Facebook to combat misinformation about abortion. Hochul wrote a letter to Facebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the “rampant falsehoods and misinformation” on abortion and to urge the company to “take additional action to curb the spread of this misinformation.”
At the press conference last Monday, Hochul was joined by advocates and legislators including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a longtime ally for abortion rights who stressed that these efforts need to come from the federal government too.
“The recent law in Texas—and the Supreme Court’s refusal to block it—is dangerous and disturbing. This law is not just unconscionable, it’s unconstitutional,” Gillibrand said. “At the federal level, we must pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would create federal protections against state restrictions that fail to protect women’s health and intrude upon personal decision-making.”
The House of Representatives is set to vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act this week. The bill was first introduced in 2013, but this will be the first vote on the legislation, which would prevent states from passing abortion restrictions like Texas SB 8.
NEW: The House is set to vote next week on the Women's Health Protection Act, a bill that would prevent states from enacting sweeping abortion bans no matter what SCOTUS does this fall. It likely lacks the votes to pass the Senate. pic.twitter.com/sqlPtP1lEP
— Alice Miranda Ollstein (@AliceOllstein) September 17, 2021
Hochul was also joined at the press conference by Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again: New York will open its doors to those in need of an abortion and stand up against any state that puts a bounty on reproductive freedom,” Lieberman said. “We will not let Texas, or any other state that tries to follow suit, turn back the clock.”
Just two weeks after the Supreme Court gutted Roe v. Wade, and with half the states in the country poised to follow in Texas’ footsteps and enact near-total abortion bans, Hochul’s announcement came not a minute too soon and should serve as a model for other states.
Watch the full press conference below:
This post was adapted from a Twitter thread.
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